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Pakistan’s Civil War In Balochistan Goes International

Indian government’s recent decision to provide shelter to the secessionist Baloch leaders has internationalized the issue of low intensity civil war in Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan where the army of Pakistan has launched a brutal operation to control the rebellion of Baloch nationalists.

On Friday, CNN-News18 quoted Indian official sources as saying that India is all set to grant political asylum to the Baloch leaders who are fighting for independence from Pakistan. Sources said they wanted the Baloch leaders to formally apply for asylum and that this would be granted in a matter of a few weeks.

The Obama administration has flatly refused to go along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stand on Balochistan. The state department’s spokesperson, John Kirby, Friday said the US “respects the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan and we do not support independence for Balochistan”.

However, there is concern in the Congress about the current situation in Balohistan.

On February 17, 2012, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced a resolution in the congress, calling for an independent state for the Balochi people living in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

The resolution said “the people of Balochistan that are “currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status among the community of nations, living in peace and harmony, without external coercion.”

In a statement from his office, Rohrabacher, who is also the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said, “The Balochi, like other nations of people, have an innate right to self-determination. The political and ethnic discrimination they suffer is tragic and made more so because America is financing and selling arms to their oppressors in Islamabad.”

The press release further added that Balochistan is “rich in natural resources but has been subjugated and exploited by Punjabi and Pashtun elites in Islamabad, leaving Balochistan the country’s poorest province.”

About the Iranian Balochistan, the resolution said ” a popular insurgency is also under way in Sistan-Balochistan and being met by brutal repression by the dictatorship in Iran which has added religious bigotry to tyranny.”

The resolution also pointed out that historically Balochistan was an independently governed entity known as the Baloch Khanate of Kalat which came to an end after invasions from both British and Persian armies. An attempt to regain independence in 1947 was crushed by an invasion by Pakistan.

Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, and Steve King, an Iowa Republican, have also signed on as original co-sponsors of the resolution. Not surprisingly, Congressman Gohmert last month called for carving out Balochistan from Pakistan to fight Taliban.

The February 17 resolution was a follow up of the February 8, 2012 hearing by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on the situation in Balochistan. While many witnesses in their testimonies focused on the human rights violations, retired Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters, the architect of the 2006 New Middle East map that showed a truncated Pakistan, called for the balkanization of Pakistan. It may be recalled that in his article accompanying the map — Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look – published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, he argued that Pakistan is an unnatural state and a natural Pakistan should lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi. “Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their Afghan brethren. Pakistan, another unnatural state, would also lose its Baluch territory to Free Balochistan. Read more...

Other article's by this writer: Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Source: counter currents


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